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Coronavirus: Newham businesses being targeted by grants scheme email scam

PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 April 2020

Businesses across Newham are being urged to be aware of the scam. Picture: Steve Poston

Businesses across Newham are being urged to be aware of the scam. Picture: Steve Poston

Archant

Scammers are targeting businesses across Newham who may be applying for the government’s small business grants programme.

Newham Council has urged anyone receiving one of the “cleverly disguised” emails not to fall victim to the con, which starts with businesses receiving fake emails stating that it is from the local authority.

The email says that a cash grant application has been processed and asks that businesses clicks on the requested link.

Once the link is opened, it leads to a request for an advance fee or tries to capture bank and card details to receive a payment.

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Newham Council confirmed that its business rates team is not sending out any confirmation emails to businesses once their application has been processed.

Councillor Terry Paul, cabinet member for finance and corporate services, said: “This is a cleverly disguised scam designed to defraud Newham’s businesses during these challenging times.

“Businesses should note that the council is not sending out confirmation emails, after processing their applications.

“People will be sent letters to inform them about their application status instead and the money will go straight into the business’s bank account, which is already checked through the current business rates system.”

The council does not issue any payments and business owners are being asked by the council to submit bank details only via newham.gov.uk/businesssupportcovid19

If anyone has any concerns about their business, they can contact the council’s helpline on 020 8430 3250 or email business.rates@onesource.co.uk


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